¼ cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 ½ teaspoons cocoa nibs
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
3 large egg whites
1/8 cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 14 minutes until the skins blister. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins. Coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl. Add the cocoa, cornstarch, nibs, chocolate, and cardamom. Lower the oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in a thin stream and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy. Beat in vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients, leaving some streaks.
3. Scoop 8 level tablespoon-size mounds of the meringue onto each baking sheet. Scoop the remaining meringue directly on top of the existing mounds, as if forming little snowmen.
4. Bake sheets to racks and let the cookies cool before serving.the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of oven for about 30 minutes, until firm when tapped; shift the sheets half-way through baking. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks.
(an Herb Day 2014 hospitality table recipe)